9 Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.”For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.
10 Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
11 The Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, for this is a holy day. Do not grieve.”
Joy as strength? What an intriguing concept don't you think. Yet, how amazing is it to think about how the Joy of the Lord really is our strength. I have to be honest, a lot of times I find myself using my own strength. I utilize all of the tools in my bucket, sometimes it works pretty well, other times it's at least a quick fix, but then I eventually find myself out of ideas as the leak in front of me begins to burst through the superglue and duck-tape I used to combat the rushing water. What then? I used all my tools, I did everything that I could possibly think of; except for maybe one thing, pray. Yes, it is true, the one thing that should be my very first idea is a lot of times my last resort. Why is that? Why do we wait until we have no other choice to finally rely on God? I have no idea. It's not even logical to choose to do the best thing last. Yet, I find myself doing this.
So what's the answer? How do I change my ways?
I find myself so desperately needing God in the moments I choose to rely on him as a last resort. What I sometimes loose sight of is my own constant need for reliance on Christ and his strength. I think people like me who have things can really relate to that. It's a struggle to not put are trust in things over are trust in God. Yet there is hope, I do have an idea of how to change this illogical behavior of ours. What if we relied on God like we need to. What if we consulted him every time a concern, need, or worry popped into our heads? I think when we learn how to do this better we will find ourselves in a deep, intimate relationship with are creator. Quite possibly the very relationship he intended us to have with him in the first place.
Perhaps then we find joy, when we rely on Christ like we need to. And that Joy of the Lord is where our strength lies; in are relationship with Christ.
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